Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Computability in Europe

Bill and I are both in Europe this week. I'm in Milan at Computability in Europe and Bill is 500 miles away in Budapest for the Paul Erdős Centenary. The US 4th of July holiday doesn't seem to sway the the Europeans from holding workshops. Bill will report on the star-studded Erdős celebration when he gets back.

So what is "Computability in Europe"? Don't the Europeans use the same Turing machines that we do? Wasn't Turing European?

Or course computation is the same, whether we do it in the US or Europe, Japan or Jupiter, but the emphasis is different. In the US we typically deal with traditional models of computers and see how much time and memory we need to solve various problems. The theme of this year's CiE is "The Nature of Computing" with "nature" being the key word. The conference is co-located with the Unconventional Computation and Natural Computation conference that focuses on different models of computing, especially those that rise from nature like biological computing. The two tutorials this week come from Grzegorz Rozenberg, talking on computing modes based on living cells and Gilles Brassard (whom I didn't recognize without his trademark beard) on quantum models.

Me, I like my computation served straight up on Turing machines, thank you very much.


  1. Perhaps P = NP - applicable tariffs and fees?

  2. Well, the Centennial was disappointing as I have not seen Bill even once...

    1. While it was a GREAT conference (I'll blog about it
      this week) it was BIG (700 people!) so you could not count
      on bumping into people you know. I wonder how many people were there who I know who I didn't see? Could you model that as some sort of random process?